Hazelbaker, who was designated for assignment by Arizona on April 6, will join the Rays’ Triple-A club the Durham Bulls. To make room for Hazelbaker on its 40-man roster, Tampa Bay moved pitcher Jose De Leon to the 60-day disabled list.
The 30-year-old Hazelbaker has had an interesting career. He was drafted nine years ago by the Red Sox and got as high as Triple-A Pawtucket before being traded to the Dodgers after the 2013 season. But like in Boston, he could not make it to majors with the Dodgers and wound up being released by the club on May 1, 2015. Twelve days later, the Cardinals signed him, then released him after the season.
However, Hazelbaker earned another minor-league deal with the Cards in 2016 and finally managed to break into the big leagues that season. He wound up playing 114 games and was the talk of MLB in the month of April after slashing .317/.357/.683, but then dipped in production and only slashed .235/.295/.480 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI in 224 plate appearances. As a result, he was waived by St. Louis after the season and picked up by the D-backs in November of that year.
Hazelbaker did go on to play 41 games for Arizona in 2017 and managed to hit really well, slashing .346/.443/.577 in 61 plate appearances. Hazelbaker will provide depth in the outfield for the young Rays.